Liverpool signs Oxlade-Chamberlain, PSG's Aurier moves to Spurs

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Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, allowed his Arsenal contract to enter its final season after rejecting offers of a new deal, and had been linked with a move across London to Chelsea.
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England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during training for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia, at St George's Park, Burton Upon Trent, on October 31, 2017.

England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left Arsenal after six years to join English Premier League rival Liverpool for 35 million pounds (US$45 million) on Thursday, the most high-profile move in English soccer on the last day of Europe's transfer window.

Tottenham Hotspur also strengthened its squad ahead of its latest UEFA Champions League campaign, bringing in Ivory Coast right back Serge Aurier from Paris-Saint-Germain. British media reported the fee for Aurier was about 23 million pounds.

The futures of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez, Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho and Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez are still to be finalized after months of speculation surrounding three of the EPL's top players. Algeria said Mahrez has left the national team to complete a transfer, without naming a club.

The 24-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain allowed his Arsenal contract to enter its final season after rejecting offers of a new deal, and had been linked with a move across London to Chelsea.

Instead, Liverpool stepped in and signed him on a "long-term" deal, with Oxlade-Chamberlain undergoing a medical examination at England's training base while on international duty. Oxlade-Chamberlain was part of the Arsenal team that was thrashed 0-4 by Liverpool on Sunday, his 132nd game in six seasons with the London club.

"I know my choice might come as a surprise to many," he said in a personal statement on Twitter, "... but I feel that this move is right for the next stage in my ongoing development."

Arsenal faced the prospect of losing Oxlade-Chamberlain on a free transfer next year.

Since moving to Emirates Stadium from Southampton in 2011, Oxlade-Chamberlain has won the FA Cup three times but hasn't come close to collecting a European trophy or winning the EPL. He's joining a Liverpool side that is back in the UCL and started the EPL by winning seven points from a possible nine.

Oxalde-Chamberlain's departure from Arsenal is a further setback for manager Arsene Wenger, who has seen his side lose two of its opening three league matches.

"I rate him highly and he's one of the players who is on his way up," Wenger said earlier this month. "In the last year, he has made huge progress and I want him to stay here for a long time.

At Liverpool, Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to play as a midfielder — he was mostly used at wing back last season — but faces competition for starts with Jordan Henderson, Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner and potentially Coutinho.

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp believes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can finally reach his full potential.

Various positions

The deal will give the England international a chance to finally define a role for himself after six years in various positions for Arsenal.

"I hear a lot of talk about positions but let's talk about the player," Klopp told Liverpool's website.

"He is someone with really good abilities who always gives everything for his team. A player that is positive and willing to take risks to try and make positive things happen.

"Already he is a very good player and I think he has the mentality and desire to get even better — that excites me."

Oxlade-Chamberlain, the second England international to leave Arsenal in two days after left back Kieran Gibbs joined West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday, has said he prefers a central midfield role, although his best spells at Arsenal have seen him play on the right side of midfield.

He becomes Klopp's fourth major signing of the summer.

Liverpool has also signed Mohamed Salah from Roma and Hull City left back Andrew Roberston, and on Wednesday sealed a deal for RB Leipzig's Guinea midfielder Naby Keita, who will join the Anfield club at the end of the season.

Aurier's transfer to Tottenham was held up because there were complications regarding the defender securing a work permit because he was sentenced to two months in prison last year for resisting arrest after leaving a Paris nightclub.

Aurier appealed against the sentence and never went to prison. PSG had to leave him out of its UCL squad for a match against Arsenal in London last season because he was refused entry by British authorities because of the ongoing case.

The 24-year-old Aurier, who played 57 league games for PSG after joining from Toulouse initially on loan in 2014, is Tottenham's second major defensive recruit after center back Davinson Sanchez from Ajax.

With Tottenham selling first-choice right back Kyle Walker to Manchester City during the offseason, Aurier will compete with Kieran Trippier for a starting spot.


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